It's not a canister, but I have pot scrubbies in a 4 stage trickle filter I built out of 5g buckets for our little basement turtle pond. Sponge, polyester fiber, nylon pot scrubbies, Matrix/DeNitrate:
(Like bio balls, the pot scrubbies work great in a drip application. In a canister filter, I think bio-sponge would be better)
Attack with easy to maintain strategies.
I use all foam
in my canisters and only open up the canister's body every quarter of a year.
This is only once the foam slabs in each chamber are established and running.
-this keeps the seals nice and unused, prolonging the notorious leak issues in time.
Run a select porosity (hole size) pre-filter sponge on the intake of a canister, and all the heavy food/plant garbage gets stuck on the outer surface area of the prefilter (which gets removed and squished in water change water).
While maintaining the water changes, siphon off the prefilter while it is in the tank.
It is the easy way to keep the canister's prefilter sponge on longer.
The easy part:
Where is the tight porosity material your all thinking about?
I use a quiet hang-on filter with layered/stacked porosity sponge in it.
Hang-on filters like the Tidal series have almost no way to leak as they are just a bucket on the rim of the tank.
- Hang on filters are very quick to use, so I don't mind slapping out a hang-on filter each week if needed.
Bio (rock media):
I still have all the rock like bio-media from all my hang on filters, canisters, and accessories sitting in a junk drawer.
Some day I'll use it in a sump near the far cleanest end protected by chambers of foam.
I never understood this bio rock thing.
I can take my tight porosity filthy sponge and slap it out, and it gets open and clean again.
The small rock/stone bio media gets filthy in most applications, but I don't believe the pores get any cleaner over time building up with dead clumps of mulm.
If I can keep the rock/bio-media clean in a chamber of pristine water, then I'm ok with that.
Until then, it waits for a sump chamber in the future.
As a summary, I believe the squished out foam can be used more effectively than rock bio media in most applications
***Give a try to lots of foam, you'll like the way it works for you when it gets seeded and ramped up in the denitrification process.
- stuff those chambers!